Foreign nationals have been suspended from entering into China since the border lockdown from 27th March 2020. Good news is that policy has changed, and foreigners who meet the relevant visa requirements are able to apply for visas and come to China again.
New Entry Requirements from August 2020
A newly applied visa is one of the required documents to enter China. You may enter China with any type of valid visas, but a Z-visa is a must to work in China. Since 27th March 2020, all previously issued visas and residence permits were automatically invalid. But the good news is that visa application policy has changed/restarted in recent weeks:
Visa application: Who Can & How to
An expat shall meet the following conditions to apply for a visa.
Holding a valid Foreigner's Residence Permit of China for work, private matters or family reunion;
Not holding a valid Foreigner's Residence Permit of China for work, private matters or family reunion, but has an "Invitation Letter (PU/TE)" or "Verification Confirmation of Invitation" to travel to China for necessary economic, trade, scientific or technological activities or out of emergent humanitarian needs.
Not holding a valid Foreigner's Residence Permit of China for work, private matters or family reunion, but has obtained "Notification Letter of Foreigners Work Permit" as well as "Invitation Letter (PU/TE)" or "Verification Confirmation of Invitation" to work in China (for applicants in the UK only).
Visa Facilitation for Foreigners with Valid Residence Permits
As per our checking of the official accounts for various Chinese Embassies, foreigners from these 46 countries are eligible for return. Some lists may claim 77 countries, but as per our checking, several countries within those lists are not under the policy for visa facilitation for foreigners.
List of 36 European countries
Albania, Ireland, Estonia, Austria, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Belgium, Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Denmark, Germany, France, Finland, the Netherlands, Montenegro, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Serbia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, United Kingdom.
List of 10 Asian countries
South Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam
Applying for a New Visa to Re-enter/Enter If Meeting the Requirements
Your nationality and the status of your Chinese Residence Permit are two main factors deciding which policy suits your circumstance. See the table for details.
A Notification Letter of Foreigners Work Permit is one of the regular documents in Z-Visa application.
Your employer will help you apply for one with the resume and certificates you provide.
A PU invitation letter is issued by the provincial/ municipal Foreign Affairs Office or Department of Commerce in China to allow foreigners to work in China for a specific employer. Usually, your employer will apply for it for you, yet not every employer has the qualification to get the PU letter.
A Verification Confirmation of Invitation is issued by the provincial/ municipal Foreign Affairs Office or Department of Commerce in China after verifying the invitation letter provided by your employer.
Notice of Border Suspension from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC
Notice of Visa Application Policy Change from the Chinese Embassy in Denmark
Notice on Updated Requirements for Chinese Visa Application by the Chinese Embassy in the UK
Notice on Updated Requirements for Chinese Visa Application by the Chinese Embassy in Ireland
Besides a valid visa, you will be required to provide other documents for entry, mostly relevant to your current health condition. You will also have to receive a health check and at least a 14-day quarantine upon your entry.
Things Required Besides a Visa
Please notice again that a newly issued visa is one of the MUSTs for entry. After you get a valid Visa to enter/re-enter China, please also check the following list for other documents you may need.
Before entry, you should also prepare:
A Health Declaration Form (download the blank form the website of Chinese embassy)
Nucleic acid test (with negative results) for COVID-19 within 5 days before boarding
A flight ticket
Please contact the Embassy and/or Visa Application Center for possible newly required documents, since the policy changes frequently.
List of Countries Where China-bound Passengers Are Required to Obtain COVID-19 Negative Certificates Before Boarding (please refer to the following link)
Click the right up corner "English" bottom and switch to the English version
After entry, you should receive
After this process, you will be good to live and work in China, as always.
You may also want to know where to find the latest change of policies
Here are some official sources where you can find accurate and reliable information:
The official website of the Chinese Embassy in your country. Updates of entry and visa policies are usually presented on “Notice” or “News” under “Visa” section.
Each Embassy also has its own WeChat public account, yet services are most likely only available in the Chinese language.
Official government website of your country. Search “China visa”, and most government websites will direct you to pages providing the latest policies and travel suggestions.
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